Our Research

The development of BETTER’s methodology involved a collaboration with Professor of Psychiatry David Baldwin at the University of Southampton and Shadi Abou-Zahra, Activity Lead of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative International Program Office. BETTER’s published protocol paper explains this methodology and can be accessed from Springer – http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-21006-3_3#. An overview of BETTER’s methodology is available from the MARATONE Project in poster format.

Research summaries

Current thinking on Web accessibility for people with mental disorders

Study identifies evidence regarding accessibility barriers people with mental disorders experience when using digital technology and any corresponding facilitation measures used to address them. A systematic review of literature covering the fields of psychology, medicine and computer science will be conducted using several research databases.

Perspectives of people with depression and anxiety

Study aims to improve the understanding of persons with depression and or anxiety’s experiences using the Web from their perspective. Focus groups will be used to elicit details about their experiences.

Perspectives of experts

Study identifies potential barriers that may restrict Web use by people with depression and anxiety taking into account the expertise of mental health practitioners and Web professionals. An online expert survey using personas and open-ended questions will be conducted.

Validating Web accessibility facilitation measures for persons with depression and anxiety

Study will validate the effectiveness of existing guidance for the removal or reduction of Web accessibility barriers for persons with depression and anxiety. An experimental study including a control group will be used.

Developing improvement strategies

Study aims to develop expertise-based Web accessibility guidance targeting persisting barriers for persons with depression and anxiety. A delphi technique will be employed to achieve this objective.

 

Related research conducted within the project

Access to the Internet for Persons with Disabilities and Specific Needs: A WHO Response

Despite all efforts by governments and other major stakeholders to ensure access to the Web by persons with disabilities, there are still some challenges and gaps to be addressed. This contribution identifies some of the main issues including a lack of Web skills and informed use among this group, and adequate accommodation for them on the Web. It then critically discusses promising approaches adopted by the Web Accessibility Initiative and researchers in the field to address these issues. The notion of progressive realisation is also proposed as a pragmatic framework for governments to develop strategies that incorporate several key elements that can meet these challenges and fill identified gaps. These key elements include efforts to strengthen links between key stakeholders, ensure increased compliances to standards, fund research to accommodate a wider range of disabilities and to empower persons with disabilities.

Criteria for judging accessibility in health care facilities (HCF): A brief

This contribution evaluated five informative reports from around Europe and the United States to produce several criteria for judging accessibility in HCF.